Pumped and primed for Battery of the Nation

6 June 2018

Tasmania has taken another step towards doubling its clean energy and securing the lowest possible power prices.

Hydro Tasmania has identified 14 options as the state’s best pumped hydro storage opportunities.

Analysis also confirms Battery of the Nation is an extremely viable and cost-competitive option for supporting Australia’s future energy needs.

These outcomes further strengthen the case for more interconnection across Bass Strait, which would also unlock Tasmania’s untapped wind energy potential.

Pumped hydro

The 14 identified options would provide up to 4800 megawatts of reliable cost-effective pumped hydro potential - significantly more than the 2500 megawatts initially anticipated.

Hydro Tasmania will now investigate the 14 options in detail, to narrow them down to a smaller number of sites, equivalent to about 2500 megawatts of potential. There’ll be regional community information sessions in coming weeks to provide more details.

The options, across eight locations, are:

site  Location  Pumped hydro options 
 Lake Cethana  Mersey-Forth  5 options
 Lake Parangana  Mersey-Forth  1 option
 Lake Rowallan  Mersey-Forth  1 option
 Lake Murchison  West Coast  2 options
 Lake Margaret  West Coast  2 options
 Lake Rosebery  West Coast  1 option
 yingina/Great Lake  Poatina  1 option
 Lake Echo  Central Highlands  1 option

The options are clustered around Hydro Tasmania’s existing hydro assets, providing a big advantage in practicality, cost and speed of construction. Hydro Tasmania will be ready to progress executable projects in coming months.

NOTE: Identifying these high-potential options doesn’t preclude investigating other options in future. But it lays a platform for pre-feasibility work on those opportunities over the next 12 months.

Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation analysis is built on detailed modelling, and concludes:

  • There’s a unique opportunity to use Tasmania’s existing hydropower system in a more interconnected national power system, to benefit both Tasmania and the national market.
  • Pumped hydro in Tasmania is extremely cost competitive. There’s ample opportunity, and most sites have an estimated cost of between $1.05m and $1.5m per megawatt to build.
  • Tasmania has a high-quality and diverse wind resource. It would generate electricity at different times to mainland wind farms, filling a vital gap in the future market.
  • As a whole, Battery of the Nation is cost-competitive against all other realistic options for meeting Australia’s future energy needs, including when the cost of more interconnection is taken into account.
Hydro Tasmania will work closely with TasNetworks, AEMO and other key stakeholders on the next stage of analysis.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) supported Battery of the Nation with funding of $2.5 million.

Battery of the Nation is about locking in our island’s energy security and giving Tasmanians the lowest possible power prices. It offers a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable,” Mr Davy said.

“Doubling Tasmania’s clean energy would also create a surplus, beyond our own needs, to support mainland Australia. That’s crucial to replace the coal power that’s being phased out.

“Two things are now official: Battery of the Nation stacks up very well; and we can deliver it.

“More interconnection makes all of this viable - allowing Tasmania to get its product to market. Even with that interconnection cost, our analysis confirms Battery of the Nation is a front-runner that’s extremely competitive and cost-effective.

Battery of the Nation is not just a Hydro Tasmania initiative; it’s a Tasmanian initiative. It’s designed to serve and support our communities, and will involve opportunities and contributions from right across the renewable energy sector,” he said.

Modelling shows Battery of the Nation and other Tasmanian renewable development opportunities would create up to $5 billion of dollars of investment and 3000 jobs in regional Tasmania over 10 to 15 years.

Battery of the Nation was recently nominated for Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments have committed to pursuing the next stage of a business case for more Bass Strait interconnection.


Released for Hydro Tasmania by Rowan Dix, (03) 62305330 / 0409 722359 / media@hydro.com.au.


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